Selina Juul was born in Russia, where food shortages and rationing were the norm. “We were not sure we could get food on the table,” she told BBC recently. This made it a bit of a shock for Juul when she moved to Denmark at age 13, and saw the amount of food being wasted by consumers and corporations alike. After seeing how much food was wasted in supermarkets alone, Juul started a new organization, “Stop Wasting Food,” that works to reduce food waste.
Without wasting time, Juul began to work with supermarkets to reduce waste. She convinced one major grocery retailer to stop using multiple quantity discounts, and replace them instead with discounts for single-item purchases to discourage customers from buying more than they need. By simply adding a sign inviting customers to take single bananas, one store reduced its banana waste alone by 90 percent.
Her work has contributed to Denmark’s overall success in this area in recent years. Their typical production of 700,000 tons of food waste every year has already been reduced by 25%, and Juul has no intention of stopping. The new changes actually led to the Denmark’s first food surplus market last year, opened by a Copenhagen charity called Wefood. The market will be able to sell groceries at prices reduced by as much as 30 to 50 percent compared to other stores. “Food waste is the lack of respect for our nature, for our society…for the animals, and the lack of respect for our time and your money,” Juul said recently. It is clear this one-woman storm will continue to make headway in the fight against food waste and hunger.